Beyond the Cusp

January 27, 2017

Can President Trump Cure the Ills of America?

 

The United States new leader, President Donald J. Trump, promised to “Make America Great Again.” The real question should be can he cure the United States of her illness. This disease has numerous symptoms of which we will cover a few of the most threatening. The first on the list is a sinister little one which hides in plain sight. The current reproductive rate is 1.84 children per woman which is well below the 2.33 reproductive rate necessary for maintaining a nation’s population. This simply means that the United States will have fewer workers to support an aging population and this will only grow more and more serious over time. The only obvious solution is to allow for immigration, eventually massive immigration. From all expectation, any large immigration program will lead to a rebalancing of the predominant population statistics in the favor of whichever groups of foreign nations contribute to the immigration. The most readily available populations are from Central America and South America. This has been the trending for the past decades which is leading to a growing Hispanic population which is rapidly becoming the largest minority population and with time they will become the predominant population. There is a fortunate trait in that the vast majority of such immigrants hold similar religious identities and have a Judeo-Christian ethics and history which will make for a merging of the populations and not as much a shock to the culture or as much a threat for large changes in laws and outlook of the resultant population. Should the United States instead bring in immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) there would be an inevitable confrontation between the emerging culture and the currently existing culture. If history is any indicator, an increasing Islamic minority would at some point lead to an actual confrontation which the aging Judeo-Christian community who would most definitely loses.

 

The Donald-Make America Great Again-Trump

The Donald-Make America Great Again-Trump

 

This problem has been traced from demographic studies to have a direct relation to the legalization of abortion after the 1973 Supreme Court Roe vs. Wade decision leading to nationally recognizing a legal right for a woman to obtain an abortion. The good news is that the numbers of abortions have steadily decreased over the past few decades. The not so great news is that this has not led to any measurable increase in the reproductive rate as was expected. Demographic studies have shown that couples are waiting until later in life before getting married. This had led to the obvious postponement of starting families and, as in most cases both husband and wife are professionals with careers, they often put off having a family until even later leading to many couples having a single child , or worse, deciding not to have children at all. Societal studies have also seen a trending in millennials for their deciding to forgo marriage, children and even permanent relationships instead settling to have small groups of friends who have open partnerships or some simply leading singular lives dropping in and out of relationships never desiring to become involved in a permanent relationship. Perhaps these individuals will settle down later in life but that will likely lead to a childless relationship as they may wait until past the point of fertility. Whatever the future, the current trends indicate that the only solution to the American childlessness will be through immigration and praying that the new immigrants prove immune to the childless culture as they come from a more reproductive friendly culture.

 

Islamic immigrants would also have a higher reproductive rate than the current American culture. The one catch is that it has been found that as financial wealth of a society increases, reproductive rates plummet. This was what has struck Europe and has been given as one of the reasons the political rulers have been allowing a free import of Syrian and other MENA refugees. Whether such a program was a good idea or a potential allowing for an infiltration leading to an eventual takeover by Islamic policies is something which is still being debated. Time may settle that debate before any conclusions are forthcoming. The one certainty is that many of the existing European populations are not overly excited about the newcomers and may be voting in a whole new and opposing set of leaders as elections sweep across the continent. Should Europe start to become an Islamic based society, then that may play well for solving some of the system shock for the United States as many of the elite, and any others with sufficient means, would flee Europe for the apparent safety of the United States. Much of this future will depend on socioeconomic developments and for the existing confrontations and other dangerous situations not developing into a far broader set of conflicts leading eventually to an all-encompassing conflict. This might actually have the effect of shocking the current Western World out of its self-serving egoism and realizing that there is only a future if there exists a prodigy to which to hand over that future and that depends on having said prodigy. Having such a revelation sweep Western society would be a blessing though it would be preferable for it not to have to be impressed through some horrific conflict as such changes have been initiated in previous eras. Such conflagrations have also brought down empires which not much earlier had been considered a permanent fixture assured forever into the future. The lesson there for the United States is that nothing remains on top forever, not Rome, not the British, not the Spanish, not the Egyptians, not Alexander’s Greeks and not even China, one of the longest continuous empires still existing and asserting a presence in the modern age.

 

Another serious illness striking the United States is the political divide which has not only grown wider this century but has also grown far nastier and more toxic. This past week proved this beyond any shadow of doubt. When President Obama was first elected in 2008 there was disappointment on the Republican side but most Americans hoped for the best. Many were disappointed but still believed there was hope and President Obama was reelected. After the 2012 election there was a smattering of protests which were nonviolent and largely quiet. The media made sure they had a short self-life by largely ignoring their existence. This present Inauguration brought back the protests and cries of foul from 2000 except with far more violence and vitriol. Madonna spoke of dreaming of blowing up the White House. That was quite far overboard as that would be such a waste of the rebuild after the War of 1812 which was finally completed in 1817 and President James Monroe moved into the new and improved White House. The demonstrations were boisterous and somewhat over the top including the burning of President Trump in effigy. The problem was with the violent actors who destroyed property, attacked police, attacked injuring innocent people who were simply attending Inaugural Dances including the insulting, spitting upon and injuring of a Gold Star widow and her sister. Spirited protests and debate are one thing and destruction of property and assaulting people and police is a completely different and unacceptable form of protest and should be considered beyond the pale. People work and depend on those places for their families and futures and the destruction of their workplaces hurt innocents and since a good many of these places were in major cities, especially those in Washington D.C. where over 90% voted for Hillary Clinton, most of the people hurt by these unscrupulous acts were Hillary supporters. Whatever the presumed excuse, such violence, if left unchecked, only grows and eventually leads to the destruction of the society.

 

The other problem with the violence was that it was presumed to be in support of groups which resemble numerous fascist entities of the past such as the infamous Brownshirts which used violence in order to scare the German people into demanding the government do something, anything, just end the violence. Once the people agreed to the government assuming emergency powers giving them absolute power, the Nazis wiped out the Brownshirts replacing them with the SS who became the new enforcers. The possibility that hidden somewhere within the leftist ranks are those seeking a repeat from history, using the rabble to stir up sufficient troubles at some point in the future to takeover and put in place a dictatorial fascist governance is all too possibly the end result. This has been the manner in which virtually every democratic based government has fallen throughout history; so saying it could not happen here is a fool’s gambit. Many of the demonstrations resembled the Red Guard demonstrations at the beginning of the Communist takeover of Russia deposing the Russian Provisional Government which was democratically elected in a limited vote and was presumed to be setting up a democratic form of government when the Communists decided they didn’t need any democracy, they simply desired replacing one dictatorial government with another. Caesar also replaced a democratic republic of Rome relegating the Senate into an echo chamber until they decided to depose him old school. The assassination of Caesar did no good as all it did was immortalize his name making it the title for the reign of dictators until the fall of Rome centuries later. Obviously saying it cannot happen here is a blindness that no democracy can afford. Reportedly, American Abolitionist and liberal activist Wendell Phillips on January 28, 1852 speaking to members of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society stated,

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few. The manna of popular liberty must be gathered each day or it is rotten. The living sap of today outgrows the dead rind of yesterday. The hand entrusted with power becomes, either from human depravity or esprit de corps, the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continued oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot; only by unintermitted agitation can a people be sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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January 19, 2017

One Single Change Would Wipe Out 90% Congressional Corruption

 

If you spend any time on social media you can only come to one conclusion, graft is everywhere except with the less that powerful. The wealthy get away with everything up to and even including murder, though murder is the toughest one to escape. Congress has far too many members who spend three terms, or even two, and if one is astute, one term and walk away as multimillionaires. Many people ask as to how this can be. Many understand and know why this can be and often is. Senators and Representatives are covered by laws which exempt them from insider trading. So if there is a defense bill coming to a vote and the members of Congress know that in six weeks it will pass, it will easily give company XYZ a multi-billion dollar contract which is hundreds of times more than their budget for the previous five years combined. XYZ stock is selling at $1.23 a share six weeks out, so many, but not all as they take turns according to seniority, buy a thousand shares. The bill passes and Wall Street lights up and within two days that stock now sells for $327.77 a share. The Congress members sell their stock at this point making over $325,000.00 for a six week and two day investment in a stock because they cannot be charged with insider trading. This simple trick goes for much more than defense legislation and at every level of government. In the little township, county, city or borough where you live they repair roads, bridges and build parking garages and hire companies to manage all kinds of government projects. Going into such contracts these are often small family businesses with under twenty-five employees and just initially making stock options. That places their stock initially on the volatile IPO (Initial Public Offering) market which is usually the home for high risk, high reward investors and not for the faint of heart. But when you know that a small operation is about to receive a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract that market becomes far less risky and investing becomes a sure bet. This is the sleight of hand, crooked investing which can be found throughout government at all levels. Often those who would prosecute such criminal acts are also clued in on investments when the opportunity is great enough to allow a broad group to make huge benefits without actually raising too much attention. This is why you find so much money going into governmental elections and influencing because the returns are far beyond the pittance invested. Giving a number of city electors a hundred thousand dollars into their election funding and then after they defeat their opponent who received one fifth the amount they will receive multi-million dollar contracts and the city electors investing wisely become millionaires within a few years and move to Tahiti if they are smart, or buy their own newly charted island and refuse extradition to the United States.

 

This is nothing new as it has been how the Senators in Rome maintained their wealth and how the Caesars ruled over these Senators distributing government monies to those who supported them and not the others. The first Caesar, Julius Caesar made a single mistake, he kept the money with the people and refused to feed the graft machine which was the Senate and the commanders of the legions. This resulted in his big day on the Senate steps where he was made into a pincushion using tens of knives as the pins with the final pin, some claim the fifty-first knife, plunged into Caesar’s back by Brutus, “Et tu Brutus?” Wars were fought throughout antiquity to steal the wealth and enrich the King and their closest advisors and generals who commanded the troops protecting the King and winning their wars. Eventually rulers figured out they could simply tax their subjects and by taking a small to modest amount from each subject reap great wealth. Some rulers made the fatal mistake of figuring that if a modest amount granted great wealth, then doubling the tax would double their wealth. That failed as once you cross a critical point draining from the economy the economy becomes unstable and the gravy train dries up and the people revolt. So many greedy kings found their people to be revolting right before they met the guillotine, the sword or other form of execution, some far less noble at the hands of the rabble. Governmental systems have changed, governing has not. Governing is still how to provide the people with sufficient services and comfort while stealing as much as the market will bear enriching the governing. Can this poisoning of government be rooted out and extinguished? Probably not for as Campaign Finance Reform should have taught the people of the United States is that no matter how you rig the game and what you do to take the money from the hands and supporting structures of the elected public servants, they will simply invent some way around the laws, appear not to actually control what they are forbidden, have an indirect but close knot control of these funds and will make away with the wealth in the end. What is more diabolical and evil are those high government employees who are just below the appointed position who are civil servants, thus presumably untouchable by those in power, gaining wealth through careful investing and manipulation of portfolios to take advantage of information which comes across their desks as part of enacting the particulars of legislations. This has gotten far more prevalent as the legislation leaves the entirety of the building and enacting the structures to fulfill the demands of vague legislations thus allowing much of the distribution of contracts and such to these civil servants. There is little chance that these civil servants are all so clean as to not make investments or find other means of enriching themselves. There are far too many very wealthy government employees whose salaries are less than twenty-five thousand dollars a year, how did they become wealthy? Little problem in figuring that out, is there.

 

Shine a Light on Corruption

Shine a Light on Corruption

 

Money is the grease which oils the wheels of government. That remains true to this day and will likely remain true far into the future. The opportunities to become wealthy from being in the right place to hear the next outlay of millions of dollars by government cannot be eliminated until the government is trusted to machines, and then the question will be who monitors and runs the machines. All we can do is alter where the weakest links are placed and thus who gains from inside information. The history of mankind has in part been the history of seeking perfect governance and the failure at virtually every juncture. There was once a governance which was as close to that perfection people seek but is unwieldy as the people must have the faith to trust their safety and protection from other nations and their invasions or other entreaties to an entity they cannot know and claim daily their inability to understand their ruling entity trusting the messengers who claim to be the sole recipients of that wisdom. This was the ruling by Hashem over the initial Israelite Tribes through the prophets and judges. There was not government largess to benefit from its wealth and how it was distributed as all was in the hands of Hashem and there were no government programs. Roads were made by people traveling between locations using the same route which eventually packs the ground making a clear and obvious path, not what you would desire to drive your brand new Lexus across but perfectly fine for your donkey. Even the advances far, far back around 1100 BCE forced the Israelites to demand to have a King like the neighboring nations to lead their army and protect them from the threats emerging around them and Torah records that Hashem told the Judges and Prophets that should the Israelites demand some form of governance to provide them security, then they should be permitted such governance. This resulted in their taking a king asking the leading prophet to anoint their king leading to King Saul. Saul was not the worst of kings or the best, but his reign led directly through some odd circumstance to King David and then King Solomon which was the shining period where the tribes of Israel were united into a singular nation which conquered lands up to the Euphrates River (see maps below showing Twelve Tribes, King David and Solomon conquest and the promised lands for Israel according to treaties from World War I). Following Kings were less successful with the eventual downfall which coincided with a king who was an idolater and placed idols inside Solomon’s Temple, a low point for the Tribes of Israel. Over the next centuries the Israelites managed to throw off tyrants or be granted autonomy under the sovereignty of a greater power. The Israelites were even permitted to build the Second Temple which included Herod building what is today the Western Wall, built over six hundred years before the founding of Islam and about a century before the birth of Jesus. Herod made himself great amounts of wealth, sufficient to build himself a mountain with a castle and burial crypt in the Northern Negev and live a lavish life of opulence simply by giving the people what they demanded, the Temple Complex, and collect taxes in order to provide the people their desires while fulfilling his own. This has been the formula of effective governance for centuries both before and since, especially since. Many of the iconic public works projects, if investigated and audited meticulously would reveal that many within the government and closely tied to people in the governance and especially with the planning of public works gained great wealth. Be the works be a huge clock in the middle of London, a great dock providing thousands of new jobs in Amsterdam or almost any public work one could mention.

 

Left side map depicts the division of the Promised Land amongst the tribes and right side map compares the modern promised land from the Jordan west to the Mediterranean Sea compared to the maximum of area during King David’s and King Solomon’s reigns.

 

So, how can the vast majority of this corruption, this theft of the public treasure be prevented? The quickest would be to subject politicians and public servants (government workers) to the same laws as the public and demand an accounting of their incomes and investments as well as careful auditing of all contracts. Make all government bids by law be the final price charged with no cost overruns, no additional surprises, and no adjustments or new demands during production that allow for fudging numbers and hiding payouts. Adding that whatever the estimated date of delivery be set such that any time overrun resulting in a percentage of the initial payments budgeted being returned to government as a means of compensating the public for these delays. This would force defense contractors to make realistic and exacting bids instead of making a lowball bid knowing they can increase the cost through delays and cost overrun demands after the initial bid is accepted. The F-35 JSF is a prime example with it coming to delivery a good part of a decade late with cost overruns and technical problems resulting in the price of each fighter costing a good deal closer to double the expected and quoted price. Had these costs been included in the initial bid it is quite possible that the bid might have gone to a competitor. The current development and bidding system used by government contractors, especially in the defense industry, is to guess at what it might cost and to make a bid at three-quarters of that estimate completely confident that the remainder and more sufficient to make the profit desired as well as cover any difficulties along the way. This is a legalized form for guaranteeing theft. If, on the other hand, contractors were made to provide what they promised for the price they bid, and not a plug nickel over, then the bids would be far more realistic and shades higher to cover the expected of the unexpected, or should we simply call it the unplanned snags and other complications. This would allow the government and the voting public, should they be interested, to understand, and know ahead of time, exactly what projects will cost. Currently the public knows that the quoted bids are a ruse and perhaps if they were guaranteed these bids would be the exact delivery price the public might take a real interest. As things are, why bother with the bidding when one really need wait as long as a decade to find out the actual delivery price because there is little or no actual oversight.

 

Government needs to become a business, not a joke, a poke in the dark where truth is a rare commodity and concealed misappropriation the rule of thumb. If a butcher ran his store as governments are run his scale would be off by 10% and he would often have his thumb on the scale as well. Nothing would be as it appears and the rule of buyer be wary would be most necessary. Governments, when designed in democratic based nations, are presumed to be open and to be overseen by the people who by being informed can make solid and reasoned votes for their representatives. Oh, if only this were true. The reality is we elect our candidates or parties, pending on whether we have a representative democracy or a parliamentary system, according to elaborate shows designed to thrill and titillate the public with elaborate deceptions designed to sell the product making it appear more responsible than the governance’s results. The entire production is very Hollywood and just as much a fantasy. This all results in a governance just as deceptive as are the campaigns and the people depicted therein. There is an easy way which we can attest from our experience in running a campaign for the United States House of Representatives where we spent at most $10,000 and received more voted per dollar than either of our high priced opponents despite not quite garnering 3% of the vote (still the record for third party candidates where we ran). Now we feel it is important to point out that this was a campaign for a job which pays $174,000 per year (current salary) for two years for a total of $348,000 total before having to run again. Our two opponents each spent very close to the same amount on their campaigns which was estimated to have been that one spent $1,200,000 and the other spent $2,200,000. These figures for our opponents do not include PAC and Party funds and advertising. Please explain how that explains spending for a job paying $348,000 which only one of us had even a dream of showing a profit unless something else was going on. And Americans complain they cannot figure out what is wrong with their governance. Of course this is not something peculiar to the United States but exists in every government across the world. Democratic nations probably suffer the least from such deception as they do kind of have to answer to the people and when the people get upset, that distress trumps all else. In dictatorial regimes the difference is far more marked as the ruling elite get the best of what is available, that is when there is a best of available to be had. In those places suffering the worst governances imaginable, such as North Korea and Venezuela, eating and having even the necessities can be considered an extravagance. Until we return to Hashem ruling the people or machines keeping humans as their pets, there will be those people using the government for self-enrichment. Always has been and always will be, or so it appears.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 22, 2016

I Have Seen This Campaign Before

 

I have seen this exact style and lack of truth in an election built entirely on one overriding misdirection repeated ad-nauseum. I reserve the right to keep you guessing and in the dark, just as the media coverage of the American Presidential Election has and will continue as they have chosen and scripted their coverage for one side, Hillary Clinton’s coronation. One might ask why there has been so little a cry from the Republican elite and leadership. The reason has much to do with their complete lack of pushback against Donald Trump’s initial success while their golden candidate, Jeb Bush, completely crashed and burned without any Republican emergency response team to douse the flames. They were assisting and even secretly arranging in quiet ways Donald Trump’s victory as this was necessitated for a Hillary Clinton victory in the general election. Any honest and readily supportable Republican candidate with the possible exception of Ted Cruz, unsurprisingly the sole Republican who had any hope of toppling the Trump nomination, would have beaten Hillary like a drum. That was the requirement the Republican Party power brokers delivered upon just as directed in the Hillary coronation directive handbook which everybody appears to be playing by except The Donald. Thankfully The Donald is extremely well adapted for the role of the unscripted wildcard.

 

There was an excerpt from the comedy show “Third Rock from the Sun” where John Lithgow’s character boils over (normal for his character) about the election and the anguish mixed with insanity he suffers over how to decide through all the lies and confusion (see video below) and Jane Curtain’s character quotes, rather loosely, Winston Churchill about the horror that is Democracy as a form of government. If you are a Lithgow fan, as am I, then you will love this. This is also unfortunately how all too many voters in America are likely feeling and this confusion does not stop at the shores, it extends to wherever people are involving this election into their lives. Unlike Lithgow, many will not be burdened with having to make that fateful choice; only Americans can be so cursed. Some have defined this election as between a crook and a megalomaniac. Well, it could always be worse; they could both be megalomaniacal crooks which some claim is also the case. Our solace is that even if we still resided in the United States, our state is the second most extreme such that there is no chance of countering the overwhelming majority which makes all predetermined. What makes this election so beyond most not overly familiar with American political theater and how most of the states are all but preordained to vote one party or the other with near 100% accuracy. What this produces is the election will rest on as few as five swing states to a maximum of a dozen potential swing states. As Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida alone could elect Hillary Clinton if she wins all three, the election may be all but decided early. If not then after Ohio, Illinois, and a remote Michigan swing will end all expectations as after that Colorado and New Mexico are unlikely to make the difference, but one can never be too sure. Imagine if it has been announced that Hillary will win and then, against all the odds, California goes for Trump. There would be a lot of news anchors with egg on their faces at that.

 

 

The nicest thing about the American election is that the tense and shrill back-and-forth screaming and accusations being exchanged blow for blow will all be decided within two and a half weeks. The less than nice thing is whoever wins will be the President of the United States for, at a minimum, four years. Whichever candidate prevails, the media will be filled with either criticisms or adulation every day from inauguration through their run for reelection. The one thing of which we can all be assured is that the next President of the United States will take office facing more than the usual set of challenges facing them immediately as they take office. The world has seen perilous times with ominous omens and exceedingly high threat indexes but rarely at the levels as all indicators press are rapidly approaching. The state of the world begs the question of why anybody would actually seek the Presidency at this time. The obvious answer would be either an inflated, larger than life ego or an overbearing feeling of being preordained and whose time has finally come though overdue. Looking at the two candidates we find that we have one of each, imagine that. Who could have imagined such an interesting election where only two personality types would seek the Presidency and then get both personalities? Usually one candidate appears so much more fitting the times and they rise to the office but here we have two. With both fitting one of two differing profiles, the voters will need to decide which candidate as well as which profile and then which is more necessary to face the coming difficulties and possible scenarios which will likely present themselves in the upcoming months and years.

 

This is not an election to envy the American voting public as if they were to choose poorly, the world will pay a horrific price, perhaps things which completely change the world as we know it today with massive change of the progressing of civilization and the laws by which we are governed. There are few points throughout history where the right person is in the right position when their world needs their type, style or quality of leadership. Even more unlikely has been the right person elected where they ward off a coming threat. Probably the most obvious example was British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain as having the worst possible qualities for leadership facing the rise of Nazi Germany. Fortunately the British made a better choice once they realized that a war for survival was upon them choosing Winston Churchill. We can only hope that the world does not face a repeat of such as what led to World War II. The world would be far better off avoiding any war which would sink any sizeable parts of the world if at all possible.

 

Centers of World Conflicts

Centers of World Conflicts

 

There can be little doubt that the world is once again approaching another central pivoting point where a future for the foreseeable future will be determined. If one were to plot out a logical future, it would point to a failing of technology to prove decisive in a coming conflagration. The main and possibly only hope the advanced Western technological edge would have to preserve the underlying social structures of passivity, full equality, gender blending, sexual independence, complete tolerance and the abhorrence of the use of force is if their technology can circumvent the fierce religious observance and intractability following the strictest interpretations of their religious dogmas as possible, demanding the conquest and submission of all who are in any way different. Their strictness in observances leads to intrareligious inflexibility forcing rejection of those following even the slightest difference of interpretation or of historic views of the passing of leadership such as the detestations which existed in Christianity during the reformation. The world is shrinking in unprecedented ways and rapidity which is forcing the disparate religions, societies, governances, philosophies and every other predispositions that separate the varying formations of humanity closer and into competitions which forces clashes in every manner of difference possible. The resolutions of these conflicts will determine the future, or even if there is a future, of humanity. This makes every election worldwide and especially in the West, especially the United States as the flagship, and the manner of succession in undemocratic lands and the resolution of wars before their effects spread endangering other lands, as with Syria, and in such a manner as to advance peace and not more conflict. Bringing conflicts to an end and preventing future conflict while advancing intersocietal tolerance are the most important of the coming challenges we are going to face as a planet. Whoever can advance strong, flexible, determined, intelligent, intuitive leadership with an understanding of the needs and respects demanded by others and being capable of incorporating such in their negotiations and even more urgent and feverish emerging engagements and confrontations would prove to be the most intelligent of leaders. Such a leader would also be required to choose wise and capable advisors with diverse backgrounds so they can present the widest of potential venues and paths forward. As the ancient Chinese curse read, “May you live in interesting times,” and we most certainly are doing exactly that.

 

Oh, and where have I seen this campaign before? In a comic book come television show then movie series, Batman. There was an election in Gotham City between Batman and Penguin. Penguin ran a campaign based on how you always saw him in the company of police while Batman was always in the company of arch villains asking, who would you prefer as Mayor, one who keeps company of the police or someone who is always in the company of arch villains and criminals? (see below) Plot killer, Penguin won the election, of course. The result, well, that is the question after every election, isn’t it.

 

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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